MINOT, N.D. - There are many reasons why athletes gravitate to the sports they love. For race car driver Robby Rosselli, it was his relationship with his father, Bob. Rosselli's path to becoming a racing champion in North Dakota began with trips to the track with his father growing up.
"I was more or less born at the race track. That's all I've known and just growing up around it. That's all my dad did was eat, sleep, work and go racing," Rosselli said.
Craig Kastner, Robby's Cousin- "Bob took us all out in the minivan and took us around the race track. I was just like 'wow, this is incredible.' I've never seen anything like this before, being from the town of Garrison, and it just blew my mind," said Rosselli's cousin Craig Kastner.
Bob, or "Rosie," was always in his son's corner throughout his career.
"[My dad] was a big moral support for myself. He helped me out in any way he could, whether it was physically when he could when his health was good... He'd also help me out financially in ways that we needed. He went to a lot of my races with me. We traveled down to Iowa a couple times together, Minnesota, so I miss those times," Rosselli said.
Those trips to Iowa gave Robby some of his favorite memories with his father, along with winning a championship at Nodak Speedway in 2018.
"One night in Algona, Iowa we ran second. He was pretty pumped up about that deal, and then in 2017 (I think it was) we won the sport mod championship and he was really excited about that... I know last year he wanted me to win a track championship," Rosselli said.
Bob passed away in March. His son and his team are dedicating the 2019 season to his memory, and it began with an opening night win at Nodak Speedway.
"That was really emotional. That was choking back some tears on that one. You try to be a tough guy, but you can't always be a tough guy. We were both pretty choked up that night," Kastner said.
"We won the feature, but it was just also kind of a different night, just a different feeling... when they say he's gone, he's not gone. Some people don't believe that stuff, but I'm telling you I believe it. He was there. I feel him," Rosselli said.
With one track championship wrapped up in Underwood, Minot and Estevan are up next in an unforgettable season for Rosselli. "Rosie" will be watching. Bob Rosselli was 73 years old. Championship Night at Nodak Speedway is Sunday at 7 p.m.